Laura Saslow, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences
Room 2178 400NIB

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 764-7836

Scholarly Expertise / Activity


  • Chronic disease
  • Behavior change
  • Physical and psychological impacts of changes in diet, exercise, and sleep
  • Type 2 diabetes prevention and management

Dr. Saslow is interested in creating and optimizing highly scalable technologically-enhanced diet and lifestyle interventions to improve health and well-being. Over the last several years she has been a principal investigator on several clinical trials, directed at type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and their management, with an emphasis on physical and psychological well-being. To address barriers for self-management, her interventions teach psychological tools, including skills to increase the experience of positive affect and mindful eating. Her long-term goal is to become a leader in creating effective, multicomponent interventions for the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases. 

Current Research Grants and Programs:

  • Optimization of a Multicomponent Diet Intervention in Type 2 Diabetes - K01 funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - Principal Investigator
  • Optimization of an Online Diet Intervention for Overweight Adults with Type 2 Diabetes - Pilot study funded by the University of Michigan - Principal Investigator
  • Positive Affect Skills for Depression: Optimizing Internet and Mobile Delivery - R34 funded by The National Institute of Mental Health - Co-Investigator
  • Optimizing Lifestyle Interventions with Mindfulness-Based Strategies in Type 2 Diabetes - R61/R33 funded by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - Co-Investigator


Dr. Saslow has three primary goals when teaching. She strives to ignite student interest, to promote their engagement with complex material, and to help them understand how knowledge gained in the classroom may be applied to solve real-world problems. She has taught for more than 15 semesters at the college level, including, at Vanderbilt University, the use of technology in education for several semesters, and at the University of California Berkeley, being the main instructor for Introduction to Psychology as well as helping to lead an honors research methods class for two years.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, Society for Behavioral Medicine
  • Member, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Member, American Diabetes Association

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Pilot research grants from the William Bowes, Jr. Research Fund and the Mount Zion Health Fund, 2012-2015
  • Selected for NIH Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials, 2013
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, University of California Berkeley, 2011
  • Selected for Summer Institute in Social Psychology, 2009
  • Greater Good Science Center Hornaday Graduate Fellowship, 2009
  • International Positive Psychology Summit Fellowship, 2006


  • Postdoctoral Scholar in Integrative Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 2011-2015
  • PhD in Social and Personality Psychology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 2011
  • MS in Teaching and Learning (Education), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 2004
  • BA in Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 2000

Publication Highlights

  • Saslow, L. R., *Mason, A. E., Kim, S., Goldman, V., Ploutz-Snyder, R., Bayandorian, H., . . . Moskowitz, J. T. (2017). An Online Intervention Comparing a Very Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations Versus a Plate Method Diet in Overweight Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. *J Med Internet Res, 19*(2), e36. doi: 10.2196/jmir.5806

  • Feinman, R., Pogozelski, W.K., Astrup, A., Bernstein, R. K., Fine, E. J., Westman, E. C., . . . Saslow, L. R., Worm, N. (2015). Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base. Nutrition, 31(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.011

  • Saslow, L. R., Kim, S. Daubenmier, J. J., Moskowitz, J. T., Phinney, S. D., Goldman, V., . . . Hecht, F. M. (2014). A randomized pilot trial of a moderate carbohydrate diet compared to a very low carbohydrate diet in overweight or obese individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes. PLOS ONE, 9, e91027. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091027

  • Cohn, M. A., Pietrucha, M. E., Saslow, L. R., Hult, J. R., Moskowitz, J. T. (2014). An online positive affect skills intervention reduces depression in adults with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(6), 523-534. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2014.920410

  • Groesz, L., McCoy, S., Carl, J., Saslow, L.R., Stewart, J., Adler, N., Laraia, B., & Epel, E.S. (2012). What is eating you? Stress and the drive to eat. Appetite, 58, 717-21. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.11.028